March 18, 2014

"Crimea has always been an integral part of Russia in the hearts and minds of people."

Said President Vladimir V. Putin, embracing Crimea as a part of Russia.
Mr. Putin dipped into deep wells of emotion, starting with the 10th century baptism of Prince Vladimir, whose conversion to Orthodox Christianity transformed the kingdom then known as Rus, to the collapse of the Soviet Union, which left many Russians of his generation feeling that they had been stripped of their nation overnight.

“Millions of Russians went to bed in one country and woke up abroad,” he said. “Overnight, they were minorities in the former Soviet republics, and the Russian people became one of the biggest — if not the biggest — divided nation in the world.”...

Mr. Putin brushed aside concerns about economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation, saying the West had forced Russia’s hand. By supporting the political uprising that toppled Ukraine’s president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, the United States and Europe crossed “a red line,” Mr. Putin said, forcing him to act to protect Crimea’s population from what he called “Russophobes and neo-Nazis” that had seized control in an illegal coup abetted by foreigners.

171 comments:

eric said...

We should have thought of this years ago with Mexico. Let's hold a referendum in Mexico and ask the people there how many of them would like to become the 51st State of the United States.

We could say, "Hey look, we drove to Mexico City during the war. We conquered Mexico, We were kind enough to give it back. But ever since then, people have been fleeing Mexico and coming to the United States because this is their real home. This is where they want to be and this is where they belong. It's time Mexico realized this and joined the United States."

I mean, it's working for Russia, and Mexico has some fantastic resort locations, just like Crimea!

Matthew Sablan said...

Well, that went about as well as could be expected. Maybe we'll get another press of the reset button?

Patrick said...

Doesn't really sound like Crimea will be the end if it.

Big Mike said...

That bit about the "red line," assuming it's been accurately translated, is a nice touch. Nothing like sticking the needle in, is there?

Sigivald said...

Rich talk about "neo-Nazis" from someone making an ethnic-nationalist argument exactly parallel to the one that "justified" the annexation of the Sudetenland.

Henry said...
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Henry said...

John Kerry was prescient!

[Russians in Ukraine] are really sort of a hidden pretext here, possibly trying to annex Crimea.

Crimea is what the Obama administration is willing to offer for peace.

In fairness, there's no way for the U.S. to make it not happen.

In the Meet the Press interview linked in the post above, David Gregory asks:

Does NATO draw a line here to try to check any further aggression beyond Crimea into the eastern part of Ukraine?

Notice the premise of the question. The annexation of Crimea is a foregone conclusion.

Back to Kerry:

He's not going to have a Sochi G8. He may not even remain in the G8 if this continues. He may find himself with asset freezes on Russian business, American business may pull back, there may be a further tumble of the ruble. There is a huge price to pay. The United States is united, Russia is isolated.

Don't hold your breath.

TreeJoe said...

There is a mounting sense of foreign policy disaster between Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Clinton, at least, gave the image she was not a figurehead for Obama's team. Kerry is clearly communicating an approved message coming from the inner circle.

Rarely have I had the displeasure as an American of seeing so many Foreign Policy disasters across so many different countries/situations within so short a period of time.

Every administration has had some mis-step, so let's give them room to make a poor choice. But Libya, Iran, Russia, Syria, Afghanistan....all bad...but also, our ties with the U.K., Poland, and Japan have weakened. South America is a mess overall.

I can't think of any major country we have actually enjoyed expanded relationships with since 2008.

Tank said...

Mr. Putin brushed aside concerns about economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation, saying the West had forced Russia’s hand. By supporting the political uprising that toppled Ukraine’s president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, the United States and Europe crossed “a red line,” Mr. Putin said, forcing him to act to protect Crimea’s population from what he called “Russophobes and neo-Nazis” that had seized control in an illegal coup abetted by foreigners.

Putting aside the Russophobes and neo-Nazis, isn't this essentially correct? Weren't Victoria Nuland and the CIA over there "encouraging" the overthrow of a duly and democratically elected President? Isn't that what happened.

What if (thus far) we're in the wrong (Gee, we're never in the wrong are we?)?

Matthew Sablan said...

Don't worry; we'll be inundated with reminders of our imperialist wrongness as soon as there's a Republican president again.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"The United States is united, Russia is isolated."

Kerry has always struck me as some kind of Edwardian buffoon, several steps behind current reality. Look again, John.

Nonapod said...

How is Putin going to provoke the rest of the Ukraine into an "incident" that justifies invasion? He needs some sort of pretense, like the Germans ginned up against the Polish.

Matthew Sablan said...

Russia just misunderstood how much flexibility was going to be had after the elections.

Curious George said...

Looks like Obama's post election "flexibility" regarding Russia is bending over and grabbing his ankles.

Basil said...

I know how he feels. I went to bed in 2014 and woke up in 1938. Weird.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Patrick said... Doesn't really sound like Crimea will be the end if it.

I fear this is correct. Donbass region (Eastern Ukraine) will be next. Already self defense groups have sprung up and are confronting (and stopping) Ukraine military assets moving towards the UA/RU border. Same arguments here. The area was founded by Catherine the Great and always populated by Russians.

Southern Ukraine will be more difficult. It doesn't have as much the Russian majority but it connects to Crimea so there is a strategic reasons.

Transnistria in Molodva has been ready for 15 years to join Russia.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Matthew Sablan said...

Russia just misunderstood how much flexibility was going to be had after the elections

Or they didn't.

Bob Ellison said...

International politics are complex, especially because fools like Kerry and Obama think there are rules.

The Drill SGT said...

Nonapod said...
How is Putin going to provoke the rest of the Ukraine into an "incident" that justifies invasion? He needs some sort of pretense, like the Germans ginned up against the Polish.


Just use the good old ethnic fallback stunt.

Dress some Ukrainian speaking Spetsnaz up in Ukrainian police uniforms and have them shoot a few Russophile farmers, rape a few women and kill a few kids. maybe burn an Russian Orthodox Priest in his church

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

@Tank

I hate having to say this but Putin is right about the US stirring up trouble in Ukraine and then stupid enough to themselves recorded. Russia TV plays the tape over and over about how the US spent 5 billion dollars and how they want "Yats" to take over. Lo and behold "Yats" is visiting the White House.

he's also right about the neonazis and russophobes. Kiev is playing right into his hands by legislation that takes Russian illegal for government business and to take away Kiev's Hero City status because the new government thanks the wrong side won un WW II.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

That's pretty good, smacking our President with his thin red line while also channeling Kipling about other misadventures in Crimea:

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"

But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

traditionalguy said...

Putin is a traditionalist. He accepts the past history of Russia as a part of the present, but he wants no part of Marxist redistribution insanity which is soley used by Obama, the Cubans and the Venezuelan's as a mind control propaganda trick.

Michael K said...

The Crimea affair, if it stops there, is no threat to us or Europe. After all, Clinton did this with Kosovo, remember ?

The problem is that Obama and Kerry are inviting more action by Russia with foolish talk. Shut up !

There are things we could do that would help our own economy and make us more credible. Like the XL pipeline and drilling wells on public land. Instead, it sounds like Obama wants to sic the EPA on the private drill sites.



traditionalguy said...

Seeing Putin as a Hitler figure is pretty weak propaganda. Obama should be better than that.

Putin's only crime seems to be persecuting Gay people and having a nuclear force...like England, France, China, and Obama's best friends, the Iranians.

America has a major enemy. But he resides in DC, not Moscow.

B said...

Is anyone questioning the legitimacy of the referendum results?

Whether you like it or not, it seems an overwhelming majority of Crimeans want to rejoin Russia. Who are we to stand in the way of self-determination?

David said...

But John Kerry told me that Putin would be deterred by the opprobrium of the world. The opprobrium of the world.

mccullough said...

Why do our officials publicly fret about this? It's not like the Ivans rolled into Czechoslovakia. There are a ton of Russians in Ukraine. If they want to stay with Russia, so be it. If the Ukrainians want to affiliate with the West, that's fine, too.

Nonapod said...

Is anyone questioning the legitimacy of the referendum results?

The 97% figure seemed a little too high to me, but what the hell do I know? I've never lived or even visited Crimea and know next to nothing about it's general public opinion.

Iapetus said...

As the midterm elections approach, John Boehner and the rest of the spineless Republicans on Capitol Hill perhaps should be taking lessons from Mr. Putin and finding a backbone.

n.n said...
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n.n said...

traditionalguy:

Putin is not even persecuting homosexual behavior. Russians propose tolerance, not normalization of a dysfunctional behavior, which is compatible with the principle of evolutionary fitness, and respects individual dignity.

Actually, it is Americans who have rejected objective standards, and as a result are guilty of arbitrary discrimination of diverse classes of partners by quantity, form, and kind. Not even the Europeans. Well, at least not the French are so irrational that they would create an obvious moral hazard in a race for unqualified progress.

David said...

Kerry:

He's not going to have a Sochi G8. He may not even remain in the G8 if this continues. He may find himself with asset freezes on Russian business, American business may pull back, there may be a further tumble of the ruble. There is a huge price to pay. The United States is united, Russia is isolated.

And he [Putin] does not much give a shit. Because Crimea means more to him, and he believes that the rest will be temporary, if it ever happens at all.

garage mahal said...

Looks like Obama's post election "flexibility" regarding Russia is bending over and grabbing his ankles.

And your specific solution is...what?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Nonapod said...
Is anyone questioning the legitimacy of the referendum results?

The 97% figure seemed a little too high to me, but what the hell do I know? I've never lived or even visited Crimea and know next to nothing about it's general public opinion.

3/18/14, 1:07 PM

I think too high but who cares. There is no way to have a free election a few days after foreign troops take over.

Kiev and the Tatars wanted the no vote to boycott. I think about 81 or 82% turn-out plus 4% no to independence so <20% were opposed.

WAG in a free election the independence voted would have been high 70s to mid 80s.

The Cracker Emcee said...

The good news is that Biden is in Eastern Europe to reassure our allies.

Hilarious.

David said...

And by the way, all of our ever so insightful journalists? And politicians? And "experts?" How many saw this coming? How many, while writing fluff memos and stories about the goings on in the Ukraine, warned that this was a potential consequence?

And how many even tried to sort out whether the forces behind the uprising were (or were being used by) fascists and totalitarians, or just plain kleptocrats? In other words, is Putin correct in much of what he said about the uprising?

The reporting on this has been as horrid as the statecraft.

I did not feel like I had sources to understand it when it began, and I still don't.

SteveR said...

Hillary 2016

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

garage mahal said...
Looks like Obama's post election "flexibility" regarding Russia is bending over and grabbing his ankles.

And your specific solution is...what?

3/18/14, 1:23 PM

How about Obama just STFU. When he says the referendum is illegal because it is aoopsed to be "democartically elected government in Kiev" (hint -- the democratically elected president was ousted) or "it violates the Ukraine Constitution" (hint -- the "Ukraine Constitution" stated a there would be a presidential election in February 2015 or impeachment to get rid of a president).

Obama looks foolish and out of touch whne he says things like that.

Or how about some forethought. Everyone knew Putin would bribe Ukraine to stay in his sphere. So the West could have had a plan in place to deal with that possibility.

David said...

garage mahal said...

And your specific solution is...what?


Good question. The answer is that we don't have the power to determine very good solution, at least at a acceptable cost.

However, there is a further question. How and why did we get into a situation where we have made promises, important promises, that we can not keep.

Bill Clinton has much to answer for in the making of the promises, Bush for continuing them while making it less likely that we could keep them and Obama for making it absolutely clear that we have no interest in keeping them.

I would also add Hillary and her stupid fucking reset button. Oh the Russians laughed at that, because they knew what they wanted, and Mrs. Clinton had no idea.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

However, there is a further question. How and why did we get into a situation where we have made promises, important promises, that we can not keep.

Bill Clinton has much to answer for in the making of the promises, Bush for continuing them while making it less likely that we could keep them and Obama for making it absolutely clear that we have no interest in keeping them.


What promises? The US never guaranteed the borders of Ukraine. We only promised to consult with Russia and UK if Ukraine was violated.

The US did nothing when Russian tanks went into Hungary, czechoslovakia, Georgia or now when troops go into Crimea.

We are not going to start WWIII over Ukraine. All we can do is to try to not look stupid.

eric said...

"And your specific solution is...what?"

Elect a Republican President and get rid of Mr. Reset Button.

Irene said...

Distribution of ethnic Russians living in the Baltic States.

Keep an eye on that little piece of Russian territory, Kaliningrad, too.

Scott M said...

We are not going to start WWIII over Ukraine.

Would we over Poland, just as a pure frinstance?

Chef Mojo said...

The 97% figure seemed a little too high to me

And yet no one blinks an eye when blacks in those percentages vote for Obama. Ethnic groups tend to vote overwhelmingly in their perceived self interest. That Crimean referendum would have these kind of numbers does not surprise me in the least. Crimea has been Russian for centuries.

Nonapod said...

Here's what Charles Krauthammer suggested.

richlb said...

Now THAT'S how you handle a red line.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Scott M said...
We are not going to start WWIII over Ukraine.

Would we over Poland, just as a pure frinstance?

3/18/14, 1:46 PM

In Poland we have made very specific promises since Poland joined NATO. We also made promises (missile defense) that Obama broke and really pissed off the Polish, Hungarians, Czechs and Slovaks. That was a major blunder and one of the reasons I turned against Obama.

That sign of weakness (and what did we get?) made war more likely than less likely. Before everyone knew the "New Europe" were full members of NATO and there was certainty. Now there is uncertainity. Would Obama go to war to protect Poland? Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not. Who knows.





Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Chef Mojo said...
The 97% figure seemed a little too high to me

And yet no one blinks an eye when blacks in those percentages vote for Obama. Ethnic groups tend to vote overwhelmingly in their perceived self interest. That Crimean referendum would have these kind of numbers does not surprise me in the least. Crimea has been Russian for centuries.

3/18/14, 1:50 PM

There are different ethnic groups in Crimea.

60% Russian
20% Ukrainian
15% Tatars

Patrick O said...

Theirs not to reason why

LarsPorsena said...

Once again I'm going to remind everyone...our supply lines to Afghanistan run through Russia.

This would limit any presidents options. Get real.

Patrick O said...

Putin's use of "neo-Nazi" is similar to the use of "neo-confederate" I've been hearing liberals using.

And, of course, his use of russophobes is similar to the homophobe use.

You're not just opponents, you're labeled and so dismissed as morally deficient!

eric said...

"There are different ethnic groups in Crimea.

60% Russian
20% Ukrainian
15% Tatars
"

What happens when a US State becomes 60% Mexican?

Scott M said...

What happens when a US State becomes 60% Mexican?

The local pro wrestling circuit while become 60% more masked and awesome.

Michael said...

So having a referendum, however rigged, is worse than simply taking to the streets and deposing the elected prime minister.



I think I get it. You?

Alexander said...

Eric: as long as the tribute... social welfare payments continue to roll, nothing.

Soon as they stop - well, we can't say La Raza didn't provide ample warning of what the future holds.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

@Patrick O

You realize the whole world is not just America with a funny accent.

There are people who are actual Nazis. Svoboda is a self proclaimed neo-nazi organization. The new Defense Minister in Kiev is a member of Svoboda. The leader of White Hammer (now called Right Sector), who wants to be President of Ukraine, said "he will never stop fighting and killing Russians, jews and Communists."

Jon said...


The 97% figure seemed a little too high to me, but what the hell do I know? I've never lived or even visited Crimea and know next to nothing about it's general public opinion.

Supposedly (according to Russian media) the reason the vote was so lopsided is that the opposition boycotted it. If everyone had shown up the vote probably would have been roughly 60-40, mirroring the demographic composition of Ukraine.

Jon said...

Crimea, not Ukraine.

garage mahal said...

Shut up and elect a Republican. Okay then.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Supposedly (according to Russian media) the reason the vote was so lopsided is that the opposition boycotted it. If everyone had shown up the vote probably would have been roughly 60-40, mirroring the demographic composition of Crimea

Russia Today is actually an OK source of information but it needs to be balanaced out with other sources. It is completely the mouthpiece of Moscow. But you can at least see what they are telling the Russians.

When you add the people who did not vote and the people who did not vote for independence , it is <20% of Crimea. So Russian media is being less than honest.

Ralph Hyatt said...

"That bit about the "red line," assuming it's been accurately translated, is a nice touch. Nothing like sticking the needle in, is there?"

Salt, meet wound.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

garage mahal said...
Shut up and elect a Republican. Okay then.

3/18/14, 2:24 PM

I would be OK with a competent Democrat but the Democrats have swung too far left and are too beholden to the moneyed and educated elites. Where's Scoop Jackson, DLC, Bill Clinton?

Cedarford said...

The US has been all over the place on this. We have little credibility.
For people we LIKE, like Mandela's South Africa, Mugabe's Zimbabwe, like Bangladesh, it is all about Majority Rule.
For people we don't like, it is all about Munich!! and Hitler!!. So Putin is a Hitler for wanting to help Russians....

Of course, all Hitler was doing was applying Wilsonian Democracy principles to suit his purposes back then for growing the Reich by enfolding eager to join, majority Germanic populations in Austria, the Sudetanland, and the German city of Danzig, which of course had been sovereign German territory for hundreds of years before the Brits decided to give it to Poland after WWI.

US can't have it both ways...with Mandela a Saint and Putin a Hitler. And idiots like Dubya, Obama, the loathsome Neocons all selectively embracing the cause of Wilsonian Democracy and Majority Rule.

John said...

To Matthew Sablan:

It is not a "reset button" Show a picture of the Hilary button to any electrician or anyone who knows control.

They will tell you that, under US law (CFR) a red pushbutton on a yellow background may ONLY
be used as an "Emergency Stop" button.

By law, when pressed, it must kill all power to the system. Do not pass go, do not return to the home position. Stop immediately.

Hilary gave Putin an Emergency Stop button. It was a good metaphor then, it is an even better metaphor today.

We want Putin to STOP immediately. Not reset, stop.

John Henry

Alex said...

For you knee-jerk conservatives, tell me what Saint Ronnie would have done differently.

Ralph Hyatt said...

"Shut up and elect a Republican. Okay then."

Depends, is he/she going to give out "Reset" buttons that don't actually say "Reset" in Russian? Announce to the world that he doesn't think that his own country is exceptional? Assume that all other world leaders share the provincial world-view that he does?

Then, no.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

BBC says there have been reports of shots fired and one Ukrainian soldier killed at an Ukraine military base in Simferopol.

This could be huge change in the situation.

Alex said...

n.n - the more you talk the more goose-step I hear. You would be quite comfortable in Hitler's Germany.

garage mahal said...

I would be OK with a competent Democrat but the Democrats have swung too far left and are too beholden to the moneyed and educated elites

I think you meant Democrats swung too far to the right. Moderate Republicans of 20 years ago is what they are.

Kirk Parker said...

Sigivald,

Oh, please. My authoritarianism is just fine, it's in service of noble ends. Your authoritarianism? Totally NAZI! Duh.

Ralph Hyatt said...

"For you knee-jerk conservatives, tell me what Saint Ronnie would have done differently."

His conduct in office was such that the Soviets believed that there were some things that he would go to war for.

And he understood that there were some things the Russians would go to war for.

Contrary to Obama's way of thinking, that situation made for better relations because each party knew that they had to moderate their behavior.

Drago said...

Garage: "Shut up and elect a republican. Okay then"

Wasnt that, in reverse, precisely what the dems said we needed after Bush?

"Smart diplomacy"

Obama himself said things would be different simply by virtue of his name and skin color.

There can be no question now that obama truly, emphatically believes that his mere "sort of a god" existence was all that was ever needed.

Forget asking everyone else what thay would do garage why dont you take a moment to explain why what obama is doing is the mostest bestest thing.

Lol

That would be a first.

And while garage and the trolls are yelling squirrel putin and his gang are preparing to consolidate the ukraine.

Mark Nielsen said...

The lefty talking point today (GM here, but I'm seeing the same line on other sites) seems to be "Well, what specifically would you do differently?"

Charles K had some good ideas. But mostly, mine would be "stop projecting weakness by drawing your stupid red lines when you don't mean it." There's not much we can do about Crimea now -- the lefties have that much correct. But *why* is that? What has got us to this point?

Lydia said...

LarsPorsena said...
Once again I'm going to remind everyone...our supply lines to Afghanistan run through Russia.
This would limit any presidents options. Get real.


The main route used is through Pakistan because it's faster and cheaper. Russia is one of a few alternate northern routes.

Michael K said...

Alex, like most lefties these days, has no idea what would avoid the need for war. Think about walking through a bad neighborhood and ask yourself what would better prevent a robber from seeking you out. A peace symbol or a holstered gun.

Naturally, Alex would choose a peace symbol.

Kirk Parker said...

Bill,

"All we can do is to try to not look stupid. "

Too late...

Kirk Parker said...

Garage,

You really think Obama is to the right of Scoop Jackson?

Ralph Hyatt said...

In this specific situation?

Russia is taking the Ukraine. That is a done deal.

The U.S. taking action against individual Russians limiting their travel and threatening economic sanctions guarantees it. Cause that is some weak stuff.

What should we be doing? Remember the anti-missle defense systems we didn't deploy in Poland and other eastern european countries that are our allies as a favor to Russia? Deploy them as quickly and as publicly as possible.

Cause I think Putin misses Poland.

Alex said...

Amazing after all these years some of you still keep calling me a leftist.

You'll never learn, you sad sack binary thinkers.

Gahrie said...

For you knee-jerk conservatives, tell me what Saint Ronnie would have done differently

Well to begin with he wouldn't have cancelled the Eastern European missile defence system, and wouldn't have appointed two incompetents to be his Sec. of State.

Michael said...

St. Ronnie would not have had to do anything because this would not have occurred under his watch. What we should do now should not be the question. The question, five years ago, should have been how do we not end up where we are now and answered that in a way that would have made it impossible for it to come to pass. Backing up red lines would be a start.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You'll never learn, you sad sack binary thinkers.

Says the guy who calls people knee jerk conservatives and talks about St Ronnie.

Self awareness.....lacking.

eric said...

"The question, five years ago, should have been how do we not end up where we are now and answered that in a way that would have made it impossible for it to come to pass. "

Electing a community organizer to be the head of your military wasn't exactly a good start to avoiding this problem to begin with.

Instead of a reset button, we got a clown show.

Alex said...

DBQ - I'm not saying you are but there are a cadre of at least a dozen asshole knee-jerk conservatives on here and they deserve nothing less than my vituperation.

Oso Negro said...

What about the treaty Bill Clinton signed when Ukraine gave up their nukes? Ignore it?

eric said...

"What should we be doing? Remember the anti-missle defense systems we didn't deploy in Poland and other eastern european countries that are our allies as a favor to Russia? Deploy them as quickly and as publicly as possible."

It's a little late for that, sadly.

But remember a fantastic speech Obama gave where he said repeatedly, "Just words"??

I remember some words from the Bush administration.

I remember, "Cowboy" and "Go it alone" and "Hitler" and a lot of other words used to describe Bush and his foreign policy that said, "This guy means business, don't mess with him."

On the other hand, this current administration uses words telling the world their main concern is being friends. Being loved. Being liked.

There are some words that sound like sweet music to thugs like Putin. Notice Putin didn't mess with Bush until the end of his presidency and until the media had repeated for years how he had made a mess of Iraq and Afghanistan and how our troops were spead thin, etc.

And even then, he still waited until Bush was practically on his way out the door.

Ralph Hyatt said...

"What about the treaty Bill Clinton signed when Ukraine gave up their nukes? Ignore it?"

That's exactly what we are going to do. And the U.S. military is going to be cut down to pre-WWII levels. And be staffed by politically correct incompetents.

Because that "Speak softly and carry a large stick" stuff is so 19th and 20th century.

And this is the 21st you know.

Ralph Hyatt said...

Sadly, a lot of people don't realize that human nature underwent a fundamental transformation when the 21st century dawned.

So, new rules people.

Cedarford said...

Oso Negro said...
What about the treaty Bill Clinton signed when Ukraine gave up their nukes? Ignore it?

================
If you think a treaty that called on all sides to "respect Borders" is the equivalent of a formal defense treaty that now requires us to kill Russians and be in turn shredded by the Russian mech forces - you are sadly mistaken.

Patrick O said...

"You realize the whole world is not just America with a funny accent."

The second part of your comment was worthwhile and helpful. It points to how aspects of truth can justify a lot of reactionary behavior.

I'm curious why you'd begin with an out of place insult.

I said it "brings to mind". Where did you get the impression I think the world is just America with a funny accent? Human behavior often has overlapping justifications, with different particular causes. Is Putin justifying a military invasion because of genuine humanitarian concern? Or is he using rhetoric to give the impression of righteousness to justify ulterior motives?

Ralph Hyatt said...

If I'm Poland, I'm negotiating with Israel about acquiring some nukes, if I haven't done that already.

It is unlikely that Pakistan would provide them.

Or perhaps I managed to hang on to a couple when the Soviet Union collapsed and have been able to conceal it.

Ralph Hyatt said...

"If you think a treaty that called on all sides to "respect Borders" is the equivalent of a formal defense treaty that now requires us to kill Russians and be in turn shredded by the Russian mech forces - you are sadly mistaken."

I agree with Cedarford on this. That respectin borders thing sounds like whistling past the graveyard on Ukraine's part.

I'm thinking that the real reason the Ukraine gave up the nukes is pressure from both Russia and the U.S. Along with some financial incentivizing.

Ralph Hyatt said...

Basically, we bought the nukes before the terrorists did.

Patrick O said...

Bill, your comment about funny accents also seemed to miss my allusion to the Crimean War, using a line from Charge of the Light Brigade. In which, as Wikipedia puts it, "Russia and the Ottoman Empire went to war in October 1853 over Russia's rights to protect Orthodox Christians." Ottomans were Muslims. A coalition of Western Europe fought Russia in that event, which was a mess of military and politics throughout. It is interesting in light of Putin's suggestion this has always been Russian, thus justifying invasion. Rather, the history suggests this has been a disputed territory and contemporary justification is suspect. Even if there is, as then, an underlying expression of moral superiority.

I'm not sure which countries involved in the earlier Crimean War had the funnier accents. Florence Nightingale, for certain, had a funny name.

Michael K said...

Blogger Alex said...

" Amazing after all these years some of you still keep calling me a leftist.

You'll never learn, you sad sack binary thinkers."

Spots, leopards.

Dope.

JHapp said...

I think its great. It means any group or individual can vote themselves and their backyard out of Russia at anytime, and if challenged by Russia, any country can blast em.

Robert Cook said...

"Whether you like it or not, it seems an overwhelming majority of Crimeans want to rejoin Russia. Who are we to stand in the way of self-determination?"

Since when have we ever supported the right of self-determination of any peoples around the globe? The military/corporatist/financial complex sees the globe as ours to plunder and control, and any challenge to our assumed right to dominate the world is not to be tolerated.

Rusty said...

Alex said...
For you knee-jerk conservatives, tell me what Saint Ronnie would have done differently.


First off he wouldn't have insisted that Ukraine destroy large stockpiles of conventional weapons like Obama did as a condition of joining our club.

Send the Russian Ambassador home.

Give Poland the missile shield we had promised them and then reneged on.



Drago said...

Cook: "Since when have we ever supported the right of self-determination of any peoples around the globe? The military/corporatist/financial complex sees the globe as ours to plunder and control, and any challenge to our assumed right to dominate the world is not to be tolerated"

Khrushchev himself could not have said it better.

Thank you cookie.

Your indefatigable marxist sloganeering is always good for a laugh and is greatly appreciated.

Why, it's as if the 20th century never even happened.

Again, thanks for playing.



Drago said...

Alex: "Alex said...
For you knee-jerk conservatives, tell me what Saint Ronnie would have done differently"

No.

Reagan is long gone.

YOU tell us why your guy is screwing the pooch so badly.

Of course, the real interesting thought is that obama is not "screwing the pooch" but, in fact, is achieving the very outcomes he was so willing to telegraph prior to the last election.

Quick question for everyone: When was the last time the obama put real pressure on a totalitarian leader?

If you said "Gadhafi", you would be mostly correct.

And why was stronger action taken there?

The european democratic-socialists oil contracts in Libya were under threat.

And obama just couldn't have that.

Even if it meant that all those arms he delivered to the "rebels" are now making the rounds to all our Al Qaeda "friends".

No, what we are seeing now is the inevitable, and probably embraced, outcome that obama was happy to light the fuse for.

How else to explain his absolutely indefensible "set the red line? who me? I din't set no red line! The congress did! The world did! But not me!" BS.

Transparently obvious.

madAsHell said...

and woke up abroad

...and there was nothing in the closet to wear!!

traditionalguy said...

This really happened today. Our Vice President gave his speech and over and over accused Putin of acting brazen.

The old Russkies are probably still laughing...and if Putin shows brass balls again Obama will send a VP to ridicule him for it....again too if Putin dares to repeat his errors.

More and more the Barney Fife character played by Don Knotts is our foreign policy.

It is entertaining to a point. I suppose the Russkies cannot plan and act if Obama keeps them laughing.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Since when have we ever supported the right of self-determination of any peoples

I know!!! Let's prove 'em wrong and start with Northern California. If we vote like Crimea...just No Ca and only us....not the rest of the libtards in the State, SF LA areas .....State of Jefferson FTW. Next the Dakotas

Self determination in action. Right?
:-)

Michael said...

DBQ. Exactly! Just like in the Ukraine, get the NorCal mobs to the Capitol in Sacramento and scare Jerry enough that he helicopters to Santa Barbara. Put your own guy in. Victor David Hanson would get the water to the crops. Jobs for the valley. Let SF opt in or out.

Alex said...

Drago - you binary thinker you! Where have I ever stated that Obama is my guy? I voted for McCain in '08 and Romney in '12. Both times as the "lesser of 2 evils" approach.

However I will not check my brain at the door when it comes to important issues like how to reduce health care costs or smart diplomacy.

Drago said...

Alex: "Drago - you binary thinker you! Where have I ever stated that Obama is my guy?"

Alex, you non-thinker, where did I ever say that you stated that obama is your guy?

LOL

Li'l troll is spinning so fast he can't keep up with who said what to whom.

Revenant said...

Since when have we ever supported the right of self-determination of any peoples around the globe?

I can think of quite a lot of nations that we allowed self-determination when we had the capacity to deny it to them.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Let SF opt in or out

SF is OUT. What would be the point of voting for freedom if we kept those fruitcakes.

Jay said...

So I guess Obama is going to issue another warning, then?

Meanwhile: Scott Walker just announced a billion dollar surplus and $500 million plus in tax relief.

I guess 2014 isn't going to be a good year for leftists.

Popville said...

Best explanation I've seen as to why our government wants a unified Ukraine, despite the obviousness of modern Ukraine being another post-WWII Monty Python pet store creation like the former Yugoslavia.

The State department wants some countries unified

Mr Phillips is not endorsing State Dept policy, just simply stating the facts.

IMO the slow breakup into smaller autonomous units or semi-automonous units (ala the latest Calfornia breakup proposal) is inevitable. Long term, even Russia, China & possibly India will be affected.

Michael said...

DBQ: OK, SF is out but I want a carve out for the Bohemian Club and the Pacific Union Club.

Birkel said...

Remember how Professor Althouse was questioning the protestors in Ukraine who saw the government cozying up to Russia and Putin? And how she wasn't sure about democracy and protests against elected governments?

Good times. Good times.

Now we see what Russia really wanted. And what Russia intended all along. So were the protestors who could sense Russia's takeover wrong?

Archie said...

I love Putin's "red line" remark. Whatever else can be said he is a certified fun hog.

cubanbob said...

Putin is demonstrating to Obama & Co. that the 19th century can bitch slap the 21st century.

Once again Regean was proven right when he tried to stop the Europeans from getting oil and gas from the Russians.

hombre said...

Alex: "However I will not check my brain at the door when it comes to important issues ...."

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha...!

Too late to convince anyone of that, Alex. Reread your posts for the last couple of years.

Michael K said...

"Since when have we ever supported the right of self-determination of any peoples around the globe?"

Let's see. France, England, Russia, Czech Republic, Poland, Greece, China, Philippines, Australia, South Vietnam, South Korea, Egypt in 1956, Israel, of course. How many did I leave out, Cook ? South Africa ?

hombre said...

BTW, Alex, think about US oil reserves, fracking and stuff. Then check out the last line of cubanbob's post at 7:44 for a clue about what St. Ronnie might have done.

hombre said...

Oh,oh. Ukraine is rattling sabers. Big mistake. She may be confused about who is Commander-in-Chief in the US. Putin is not.

David said...

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

What promises? The US never guaranteed the borders of Ukraine. We only promised to consult with Russia and UK if Ukraine was violated.


The agreement was entitled "Memorandum on Security Assurances." I'm sure you know what an assurance is.

The memorandum also states:

1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;
2. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or
political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;


Paragraph 6 does obligate the parties to " consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments." That is a procedural undertaking, not a substantive promise, and it is not stated as an exclusive or limiting remedial obligation. Nor could it be, given the concrete nature of the promise in paragraphs 1 and 2.

My version of the text is available at the web site of the permanent mission of Poland to the United Nations, which made a point of publishing it in February of this year.

It's pretty clear how the Ukrainians and the Poles view the agreement.

The agreement was ambiguous--exactly what Bill Clinton intended, the weasel.

Kelly said...

If only they had gotten approval from the UN and gathered a coalition, no one would complain.

Bob Ellison said...

Ukraine and all the world see that America is only as strong as its weakest man.

cubanbob said...

Ukraine and all the world see that America is only as strong as its weakest man."

No Bob. The lesson here America's word is only good for one or two presidential terms. Say what you will about the Russians they stay with their allies ( however odious) as long as they are able to.

The question now is where will Putin draw his stop lines? If a shooting war breaks out who will stop the flow of gas and oil to Europe first? The Russians in order to muscle the west or the Ukrainians to muscle the west?

Paul said...

"Crimea has always been an integral part of Russia in the hearts and minds of people."

Man I can hear the banjo play!

Yes, that's 'Banjo' Obama played by master picker Putin!

David said...

cubanbob said...
. . . .

Say what you will about the Russians they stay with their allies ( however odious) as long as they are able to.


Do the Russians have allies, at least in the sense that the United States does, based on community of interest, shared values, etc?

It seems to me that Russia has mostly relationships of current convenience or of dominance. That's much less difficult than an actual alliance. US-Britain, US-France, US-Britain, US-Japan, those and others are alliances.

Who is Russia's principal ally?

Answer: they have none. Which is why in the long run we have a great advantage.

Bob Ellison said...

Ronald Reagan stood for freedom.

Birkel said...

David,
The term for which you seem to be searching is "client states"

But regardless of terminology, Russia is more dependable than the US because of our relatively free and fair elections. It's a trade-off and one with which I am comfortable. But it's not costless.

The costs of our system are exacerbated, currently, by the radical departure from prudence as we "lead from behind", aka follow, aka blindlessly wander.

Michael K said...

Putin is probably as puzzled as I am about why the US refuses to do things that would strengthen us and enhance our ability to deter adventurism by enemies. He can only enjoy his luck while I despair for our future. War has nothing to do with it.

Yet.

Revenant said...

Russia is more dependable than the US because of our relatively free and fair elections.

Historically, Russia has been a dependable ally to nations that do exactly what Russia wants without exception. Ones that makes the mistake of thinking they're allowed to make independent choices tend to get invaded, have their leaders killed, or get left hanging.

The United States doesn't have any "allies" of that sort, so it is hard to compare us. Among allies of the sort who expect to maintain a level of independence from us, we're a far more trustworthy ally than the Russians.

Revenant said...

Putin is probably as puzzled as I am about why the US refuses to do things that would strengthen us and enhance our ability to deter adventurism by enemies.

What is the US "refusing to do" that would discourage Russia from annexing Crimea and/or invading the Ukraine?

Issob Morocco said...

Crimeas of the Heart!

Robert Cook said...

"Historically, Russia has been a dependable ally to nations that do exactly what Russia wants without exception. Ones that makes the mistake of thinking they're allowed to make independent choices tend to get invaded, have their leaders killed, or get left hanging."

Well, then...America has become Russia...in the "historical" sense.

"The United States doesn't have any 'allies' of that sort, so it is hard to compare us. Among allies of the sort who expect to maintain a level of independence from us, we're a far more trustworthy ally than the Russians."


Hahahaha! Really?

Bob Ellison said...

Revenant asked 'What is the US "refusing to do" that would discourage Russia from annexing Crimea and/or invading the Ukraine?'

1) Approve the Keystone pipeline and start exporting oil and natural gas to Europe, thus helping to release Europe from Russia's grip.

2) Put missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic.

3) Act like the superpower that America is. What a bunch of pussies we have in office!

Putin is just a man, and he behaves like one: he responds to pressure. Obama and his crew have applied no pressure.

April Apple said...

Russia (Putin) is taking over Crimea, not liberating it.

Bob Ellison said...

By the way, "missile defense" used to be called "star wars". Ronald Reagan championed it, and big, scientific people ridiculed him, saying it was impossible. Well, it worked in Israel. Russia perceives it as a threat. It's real, and thirty years ago, it was considered a joke by the John Kerrys of the day.

What mistakes will we make tomorrow? Will we think it impossible to catch a terrorist based on data collection? Maybe we will laugh at something like satellite interception of radioactivity.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

This is a link to an atheist acting Christian.

Juicy. Saying "screw the system it is the punishment" could deprive lawyers and judges what they covet most.

grackle said...

What is the US "refusing to do" that would discourage Russia from annexing Crimea and/or invading the Ukraine?

This is the Obama apologists' favorite question. Ukraine is already invaded and the Crimea is already annexed. The only question now is how much more of the Ukraine will be taken by Putin.

Anyway the question should be: What led up to Putin's land grab?

The original stupid "reset" policy toward Russia told Putin he was opposed by idiots. The missile defense system for Eastern Europe unilaterally squashed by Obama just to try to kiss Putin's ass told him even more. Rolling our military back to a pre-WW2 level spoke volumes. "Leading from behind" bullshit further encouraged him. Lack of support, even weak verbal support, from Obama for American-friendly dissidents in Iran and Syria was another indication to Putin. I could go on.

The only reward for all the appeasement, timidity and utopian ideological stupidity is an American President who is the object of scorn, laughter(see the Russian tweets ridiculing Obama's "sanctions") and contempt by the rest of the world.

Obama could relieve Europe of the threat of the withholding of Russian oil by providing them with US-derived energy sources(oil and gas.) Europe is held hostage to Putin by their fuel needs. Obama refuses to provide weapons for defense to what's left of the Ukraine. Ukraine cannot fight Russia without bullets. Obama could also attack the ruble by isolating Putin economically. Russia has a vulnerable economic system that is intertwined with Western banks. The question should not be how to stop Putin but about how best to punish Putin. But that would require a president with balls so it's all wishful thinking.

damikesc said...

Progressives, more than most should be mortified.

What is the benefit of diplomacy if nobody will abide by agreements?

Matthew Sablan said...

It's a lot like any huge error in judgment: Unlike in movies or books, there's rarely a single point of failure. The world doesn't just go Nedry on you: Any number of options to avoid the worst possible outcome are ignored.

Rusty said...

One thing we could do is offer Ukraine an Belarus credits to purchase up to date western arms.

Matthew Sablan said...

But, hey, it is a good thing we didn't elect someone who thought Putin might be a bad guy we shouldn't trust!

garage mahal said...

This all started when Bush let Putin invade Georgia.

Fen said...

However, there is a further question. How and why did we get into a situation where we have made promises, important promises, that we can not keep.

Exactly.

People like Garage are the ones who find themselves 2 moves from being checkmated and then have the nerve to ask "well what would YOU do?"

How about not getting yourself in such a weak position to begin with? You ceded the middle of the board from the start, and now you're whining that nothing can be done.

Bob Ellison said...

That's a nice talking point, garage mahal. Please give us the background.

LarsPorsena said...

Crimea is a putinsula.

garage mahal said...

How about not getting yourself in such a weak position to begin with?

Did Putin sense weakness when he invaded Georgia?

cubanbob said...

@david 10.41 pm

Perhaps you never heard the quote from a 19th century British PM who said nations don't have friends. Nations have permanent interests. Foreign affairs are based on realities, not pablum even if the politicians disguise it that way.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger garage mahal said...

How about not getting yourself in such a weak position to begin with?

Did Putin sense weakness when he invaded Georgia?

3/19/14, 8:41 AM
_____________________________________

Yes, he did. It was a just a whiff then but now it's an overhanging stench.

Bob Ellison said...

garage mahal, Georgia is a sovereign nation to this day. Your talking points are fetid.

cubanbob said...

"The United States doesn't have any "allies" of that sort, so it is hard to compare us. Among allies of the sort who expect to maintain a level of independence from us, we're a far more trustworthy ally than the Russians."

Revenant those who get hitched to the Russians know who they are getting hitched with and the strings attached but they do so because they see it overall in their interests.

Now looking over the last fifty years just how good was it to be allied with the US? You think the Cambodians, the Laos and South Vietnamese would offer letters of recommendations? There is a reason the French decided to go nuke on their own despite our umbrella. Perhaps Suez and Indochina had something to do with it. Even the British are still pissed about Suez. Batista, Somoza and the Shah of Iran were SOBs but as FDR said they were our SOBs but we knifed them in the end and how did that work out? Iraq and Afghanistan are already bailing out on us. You don't see the Russians screwing over the Iranians and the Syrians.
Putin is a gangster and he makes his terms clear but when you deal with him and cut a deal with him he tends to standby the deal.

hombre said...

garage: "Did Putin sense weakness when he invaded Georgia?"

Of course.

Revenant said...

Well, then...America has become Russia...in the "historical" sense.

Really? Canada routinely disagrees with us and we've yet to invade it, even though there are lots of people we could claim are "culturally American" there.

Among allies of the sort who expect to maintain a level of independence from us, we're a far more trustworthy ally than the Russians."

Hahahaha! Really?

Yes, really. It is telling that the worst example you could come up with is still less than what Russia is doing right now.

Revenant said...

1) Approve the Keystone pipeline and start exporting oil and natural gas to Europe, thus helping to release Europe from Russia's grip.

And this would have prevented the annexation of Crimea and/or invasion of Ukraine... how? You think the EU would send in the troops if only they didn't need the fossil fuels? Heh!

2) Put missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic.

I asked how we would prevent what's happening in Ukraine, not how we would prevent eastern Europe from getting nuked.

3) Act like the superpower that America is. What a bunch of pussies we have in office!

... and we come back around to the "if only we were more macho, Putin wouldn't dare pull this shit". Please -- they did worse than this when Harry "Nuke the Japanese" truman and Ike "Made Germany My Bitch" Eisenhower were in office.

You know what it is called when your strategy consists of "acting tough"? Bluffing.

Nichevo said...

Ok. You want an effective response that we can, perhaps, do now? Assassinate Putin.

Nichevo said...

Not recommending it necessarily but it would have several positive effects. Now that's a reset. And if it occurred to him, Obama is the type who would do it.

Nichevo said...

Question: does the USG SOF community have the chops to pull that off today?

Bob Ellison said...

Revenant, what would you suggest?

Rusty said...

You know what it is called when your strategy consists of "acting tough"? Bluffing.

Keeping your commitments shows your opponents you're not bluffing.

Revenant said...

Revenant, what would you suggest?

I suggest doing nothing.

Why is this a problem for us that we have to solve? We're like #80 on the list of nations most threatened by a resurgent Russia, and none of the 79 nations ahead of us are doing a damned thing besides talk.

Revenant said...

Keeping your commitments shows your opponents you're not bluffing.

Could you translate that into actual US government behavior? We have no commitments to the Ukraine. What "commitments" would we be keeping here and how would we keep them?

Revenant said...

You want an effective response that we can, perhaps, do now? Assassinate Putin.

Illegal act of war against a nuclear power on behalf of a non-ally?

I fail to see what could possibly go wrong with that plan. :)

Marshal said...

Revenant said...
I suggest doing nothing.


Someone once said "better than doing nothing is a high standard".

grackle said...

I asked how we would prevent what's happening in Ukraine.

An irrelevant question but it does serve somewhat ineffectively to deflect attention from the feckless Obama reaction to Putin's power plays. The real question is how best to punish Putin for his perfidy. The only response from the Obama administration so far has been little more than witless yammering about "international law" and an idiotic offer of c-rations to the Ukrainian army. It's like a Monty Python skit.

Now looking over the last fifty years just how good was it to be allied with the US? You think the Cambodians, the Laos and South Vietnamese would offer letters of recommendations?

The ones who managed to escape alive from the communist overlords who took over after the US abandoned SE Asia would probably offer a few letters of relief. Remember the boat people?

http://tinyurl.com/pjvgqdq

This comment was posted as a way to counter Putin:

Approve the Keystone pipeline and start exporting oil and natural gas to Europe, thus helping to release Europe from Russia's grip.

A response to that:

You think the EU would send in the troops if only they didn't need the fossil fuels? Heh!

No it wouldn't make the EU send in troops. But it would allow the EU politically to be less reluctant to join in on serious sanctions against Putin. Right now Putin holds a political whip over the EU. A rise in energy costs would send the fragile EU economy reeling.

Did Putin sense weakness when he invaded Georgia?

I don't think it was an accident that Putin's attack on Georgia was begun just before the 2008 Presidential election. After that he had Obama's invitation by both word and deed to start his new Soviet Union.

http://tinyurl.com/kouygb2

Hyphenated American said...

Putin is brazen because he knows Europe depends on his oil and gas. If Obama cared for America, he would have allowed more gas and oil exploration on federal lands, building the oil pipelines.
I always wonder if those "environmental groups" who protest oil and gas industries in the USA, do they get funding from Putin? I wonder if Obama got money from Putin in 2008 and 2012 due to his anti-American position on gas and oil.

Revenant said...

An irrelevant question but it does serve somewhat ineffectively to deflect attention from the feckless Obama reaction to Putin's power plays.

1. Michael claimed that Obama is "refusing to do" things that would deter Russian adventurism. Asking what we could have done to deter their adventurism is not "irrelevant" -- it is perhaps the most relevant question that could be asked in response to that claim.

2. I am not trying to "deflect attention" from anything. I'm trying to draw attention to the fact that "doing nothing" is the right play here.

3. It is hard to think of anything less relevant than complaints about a lame-duck President's performance in office.

The real question is how best to punish Putin for his perfidy.

No, the real question is "why should we get involved". We have no national interest in the Ukraine.

Hyphenated American said...

Revenant, your views are simplistic. If Russia can occupy Ukraine simply because it wants to, what would stop china from occupying Taiwan? If America does nothing, the world will see a crazy rush to build nukes by smaller countries.

grackle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grackle said...

Asking what we could have done to deter their adventurism is not "irrelevant" --

Actually, the earlier question is as follows: I asked how we would prevent what's happening in Ukraine.

It's irrelevant because at this late date there is nothing that Obama can do to undo the damage that Obama has already done. The Crimea is lost to the Ukrainians with perhaps more of the Ukraine to follow. The question is not how Obama's past incompetence got us into this mess, but rather what can be done to punish Putin in order to deter Putin from future "adventurism."

I'm trying to draw attention to the fact that "doing nothing" is the right play here.

And others are trying to point out that "doing nothing" is what got Obama in this mess in the first place.

It is hard to think of anything less relevant than complaints about a lame-duck President's performance in office.

Obama's not a "lame duck" yet. The general election is 2 years away. There's plenty of time to punish Putin.

No, the real question is "why should we get involved". We have no national interest in the Ukraine.

Hmm … Does the US have a national interest in preventing Putin from building another Soviet Union carved piece by piece from his neighboring nations?

I think we do.

Nichevo said...

Revenant, I do not advocate it, because I suspect Putin's security is too good and/or we're not good enough to pull it off without getting caught.

That said, it would immediately show Russia we're serious. It would injure them. The next guy would be more cautious, tractable and respectful. There wouldn't be much higher to escalate. Tit for tat would be a big favor to us. If the initiative centers in Putin as opposed to consensus this would be a good breakpoint. It is cheaper than war. So there is potential upside. We're just talking here, no need to get all shirty.

As for illegal, nigga please. As for nuclear armed, doesn't seem to restrain them acting against us. As for non ally, meh, Clinton did sign that thing.

Nichevo said...

And it is the only possibility of a return to the status quo ante, i.e. Ivan unasses up out of Crimea.

As for asking "what would you do," may the first part of my answer be "turn back time?"

Nichevo said...

Incidentally, Russia has a very long tradition of political assassination, and Putin is nothing if not a traditionalist!

Nichevo said...

Ok, no guts. Fine. We'll make the Russians do it themselves. So simple: drive oil price to 50. How? Diplomacy. Send, oh I dunno PRESIDENT BUSH to Saudi. Anyone else with spare capacity. Ask em nicely, as old friends and statesmen, to open the spigots. Maybe you agree a limited time, three months six months or whatever, but DON'T TELL ANYONE.
Maybe some like Iraq perhaps need a boot in the ass to understand what a good idea this is. Libya, pump at max and no trouble or heads roll.


All of a sudden Russia wakes up poor.

Better?